The Cinna dottor, “little doctor” in the Telugu language, as they called her in the state of Andhra Pradesh, southeast of India. Sr. Lorenza Calcagni, belonging to the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate, originally from Premana, Italy, spent 53 years of her life on Indian soil. She died on February 13 at Nirmala Hospital in Jangareddigudem.
In 1966, she made her first profession among the Missionary sisters of the Immaculate. After the training in the nursing field with a specialization in leprosy and the study of the language, she reached India in 1970. In 2005, she put up a family home, attached to the Vegavaram hospital, to welcome orphans and HIV-positive children of patients already admitted in the hospital.
Sr. Lorenza worked in various centers dedicating herself every day to the most widespread and evident scourges of the country: leprosy, malnutrition, malaria, poverty, illiteracy, without forgetting however the most insidious and violent: women discrimination.
Like many missionaries working in the country, she collided every day with the phenomenon of missing girls, that is, ‘missing’ or ‘disappeared’ girls: “I accompanied a young girl during her pregnancy. After giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, she with immense pain killed her. When I asked for an explanation, this mother told me, ‘Sister Lorenza, I didn’t want my child to suffer as I have suffered, and I am suffering every day of my life’” (Mondo e Missione). “The birth of a baby girl can turn into a real tragedy for many Indian families: the phrase “she is a girl”, uttered by the midwife, can still sound like a death sentence.
Sister Lorenza lived the missionary spirit of Blessed Paolo Manna, a fiery soul who dedicated every moment of his life to the missionary ideal in the mission, in Myanmar and at home, in Italy. Like him, Sr. Lorenza dedicated her whole life and her missionary passion to the people of India. Her values of dedication, sincerity, loyalty and love, care for the sick, openness, forgiveness, courage, her spirit of prayer and inculturation, her perseverance, are with us as a source of inspiration and authentic testimony of faith in Jesus Apostle of the Father.
Sr. Emanuela Nardin